Australia's contingent for next week's Masters will be limited to just four unless Aaron Baddeley or one of his five countrymen can secure the last ticket to Augusta National by winning the Valero Texas Open.
With 17 players at the PGA Tour event carrying exemptions, in-form Baddeley is among 127 hopefuls facing a last-chance saloon with the San Antonio tournament offering its winner the last spot at Augusta.
As it stands, Jason Day, Marc Leishman, Cameron Smith and 2013 Masters winner Adam Scott are the only Australians teeing off at the opening major of the year – just as they were 12 months ago.
But Baddeley hopes to pull a rabbit out of the hat at TPC San Antonio, with the event replacing the Houston Open as the Masters precursor.
"That would be gold," Baddeley told AAP.
"That Masters spot definitely adds incentive to try and win.
"It focuses you in the lead up. But once you've teed off Thursday, you try not to think about it until Sunday if you're in contention.
"You don't want to get ahead of yourself."
The last Australian to win the week before the Masters was Matt Jones in 2014, who memorably came from six shots behind, then chipped-in from off the green to claim victory in a sudden-death play-off.
RIGHT: Baddeley finished T7th at the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship in the Dominican Republic last week. PHOTO: Mike Erhman/Getty Images.
Baddeley, 38, has had chances to win three of his past four PGA Tour starts, including a tie for seventh last week and being tied for second at the Puerto Rico Open.
"My confidence is pretty high," he said.
"I'm striking the ball the best I have in ages, but I'm also getting rewarded on the scorecard with really nice chipping and putting."
Baddeley is joined in San Antonio by compatriots Jones, Curtis Luck, Rod Pampling, John Senden and Cameron Davis.
Davis has flown his Sydney-based coach Khan Pullen to Texas, hoping the Golf NSW high performance manager can help him turn around a run of mediocre results for PGA Tour rookie.
"I haven't been swinging it great lately," Davis said.
"I've been forcing the results a bit, going at pins too often when I'm not necessarily playing well enough."
Davis is well placed at 11th among the secondary Web.com Tour graduates – a pool of players whose results determine the amount of PGA Tour starts they receive.
The Web.com Tour graduates are re-ranked after the Texas Open.
- Evin Priest, Australian Associated Press